Bookings. Reels. Agents. Gains you need to know about.
JASON WISE & HIS TAKE ON MAKING IT IN NEW YORK!
Any professional gaining success in the big city will confirm that a creative mindset makes an amazing difference in navigating the job scene. Here, choreographer Jason Wise shares the insights that keep him grounded and ready for every new opportunity that comes his way.
‘Believe that you’re the best. Write letters. Talk to anyone who will listen. Drink coffee. Read about the Law of Attraction. See every show you can so you know what’s going on. Then go home and read every word in the Playbill including the restaurant listings. Meditate. Be yourself. Save your money (even when you’re making it, live as if you’re not). Take risks. Don’t get jealous. Paint. Know your history. Have somewhat of a life outside of show business. Make clear choices. Remember names. Call your parents. Walk Manhattan without having a destination. Don’t change your phone number. Keep small things around your apartment to remind you of a time when you dreamed of living in New York and being a part of Broadway because there’s going to be rough days and you have to get through them. And never take your time here for granted – every day you wake up in New York is a gift. Even when the city chews you up and spits you out, remember there’s a kid in Kansas who could give anything to even get one week here. Everyone who’s anyone is within 13 miles of you. If your dream seems far away or the odds of a miracle happening seem slim to none, remember (if anywhere) it can happen in New York – in 24 hours or less.’
Following assignments in national tours of 'Beauty And The Beast' and 'Cats', Jason is quickly establishing himself as a promising stager of musicals. The most recent evidence includes the 50th Anniversary Concert of 'Fiddler On The Roof' and a tour of '4 Girls 4' starring Andrea McArdle, Donna McKechnie, Faith Prince, and Maureen McGovern. His interest in educating dancers translates into teaching 4x's a week at Broadway Dance Center.
AUDITION WINS! HOW MANY ARE THERE? Grover adds a few more to the list!
No doubt about it. Booking the job is clearly the #1 WIN at auditions. Bam. There is is. Exactly what you wanted. Call home. Make Mom and Dad even prouder. Mm-hm. Now. If we dug a little deeper, could there be a few more wins?
WIN #2 Invitation to a callback. Callbacks get you into the final round of casting. A definite achievement. With a handful of callbacks at your back... it can easily look like your potential is getting recognized. Even if you don't book the job... callbacks attract a special brand of respect from industry players.
WIN #3 Making it down to the final 12 dancers. An event that any agent loves to deal with. If you're already repped, your agent will welcome the leverage it gives them to promote you.
WIN #4. Personal questions from the choreographer or casting director during the audition. 'Where did you train? Why haven't I seen you before? Could you show me what you'd look like with your hair down? I'd like to see you repeat the combo with the next group, okay?' Moments like this happen spontaneously. If they happen to you, it's a plus. Welcome them. They are confidence builders.
WIN #5.Observing the reactions of other dancers during (and after) the audition. Observe how other dancers manage the task of competing. Notice the pluses, the minuses, and the in-betweens. Pay attention to the comfort levels that you admire most. Try them on for size. If they fit, you've just gained another win.
Auditions are opportunities for more than bookings.
By opening up and investing in all of the possibilities, you can, in time, influence the good that comes back to you. Yes, roll up them sleeves, roll with the punches, and get a little closer to becoming the industry player you were meant to be. – GD
MICHELLE IS CLASS STANDOUT! Grover observes class at Broadway Dance Center
During a capacity filled class by choreographer Jason Wise, A4Der Michelle West was boosted front-and-center when she was called out to perform solo. As the floor cleared, Jason welcomed her center stage and hit 'play' on his mobile device. Michelle KILLED the combo. Everyone in the room, including special guest Grover Dale broke into applause. 'When a dancer brings that kind of fire and energy onto the floor,' said Grover, 'they deserve all the validation we can give them!'
'Michelle stood out,' added Jason, 'because she is the 'package deal.' Not only did she demonstrate exceptional technique, but also had the faces happening, and a personality that stood out. It's not how beautiful you smile, or how high your leg can get - it's delivering both at the same time that counts.'
'I was extremely surprised,' said Michelle after the class. 'There were so many beautiful dancers in the room. Being told I was the 'total package' was truly a blessing. I loved that Jason's class was so audition-focused and that Grover shared so many insights about the casting process and what each of us can bring to it. I learned so much from both of them and I am open, eager, and ready to learn more. Hey. Broadway Dance Center... you've got two amazing teachers in your hands. When's the next class with Grover and Jason?'
BEYONCE DANCER TELLS HER STORY! How Angela Got Her Start on A4D
Angela Henderson, in her own words, tells what it was like to launch her career. A special thank you to Paulette Ivory, producer of the web series 'My Life Lesson' for encouraging Angela to share her thoughts with us.
‘I always wanted to be a dancer since my first dance class at age 5. When I got older and started researching how to become a professional, I hit many roadblocks. I could not find anything on the Internet, books or on TV that showed the steps to achieve my goals. There was no YouTube then or ‘how to’ videos and I didn't know what to do. One day as I was doing a Google search... there it was...
Answers4dancers.com! I absolutely could not believe it. As I started to see answers to every question that I ever had as well as topics I never even thought of before, I actually got emotional. I was really over-joyed to find the key to unlock the door to my dreams.
The website was like an awesome new friend who had all the answers to all my questions. I was so thankful and quickly began to apply all the tips that were suggested. Besides the wonderful articles explaining things like 'How much money should you save before you move to a new city?' and 'How to stand out in an audition,' it was even more inspiring to see pictures of working Dancers doing all the projects that I hoped to book one day.'
'This is great Grover!' – Jim Keith, lead agent, The Movement Talent Agency
ANTONIO SCORES ASSIGNMENT WITH A CASTING DIRECTOR! Get the inside scoop on member Antonio Martinez's booking as an assistant
Member Antonio Martinez was excited to share his latest booking - assisting a top commercial casting director! We were so excited to hear this news and asked Antonio to divulge more information about the job. Here's what he had to say...
"I choreographed the routines used to audition the ladies and partnered with all of them for the camera. Then I sat down with the casting director to decide which ballroom ladies had the "best audition" (strongest ballroom performance, technique, acting, and work ethic...aka attitude during audition process), which would put them at the top of the watch list for the producers and directors.
This very "hands on" opportunity was given to me by JC Gutierrez (MSA), my on camera agent. It gave me a large role in deciding talent for a major advertising campaign for a huge motor company, adding networking and face time with casting, producers, and directors."
Members Jadée Nikita, Kimberly Dooley, and Asia 'Diamond' Mason got it going! After a recent audition, Jadée emailed us to say she ran into a college friend and fellow A4D member, Kimberly Dooley. Her nerves instantly lessened, and they had a blast auditioning together! In the same week, Asia reported a booking she just completed...a magazine cover with a 6 full page spread!
We shared both stories on our social media outlets. On Facebook, Jadée and Kimberly's experience attracted 7000+ viewers and 37 'likes,' and Asia's magazine cover announcement attracted 5000+ viewers and 28 "likes". Among the 'likes' are 3 choreos and 3 producers, one of whom (David Winters) is currently directing and casting dancers for a major dance film. Job potential? It's written all over this kind of communicating!
AGENT REFERRAL WORKS FOR JADÉE NIKITA See how communication skills boosted her shot at representation
JADÉE NIKITA LUCILLE DICAMPLI
On Oct 8, Jadée was informed she had earned an agent referral. The following day, her profile and demo reels were submitted to five major dance agencies. Hours later, more than one expressed interest in her. On Oct 16, she successfully navigated a face-to-face meeting with MSA’s Lucille DiCampli in NYC.
Jadée’s description of the meeting: It was great meeting Lucille. She talked about what MSA had to offer me, asked me questions about my career and future goals, and expressed interest in signing me. She told me she was interested in representing me because of a previous interaction we had while I was trying to negotiate a TV commercial contract. She liked how I listened and handled the advice she was giving me. Instead of me coming across flustered and agitated…she mentioned my composure, maturity, and listening skills.
At the end of the meeting, she invited me to come back on November 15th for paperwork, and a cold-read in front of the other agents so they can decide which acting roles are a good fit or me. She then said "Welcome," we hugged, and I told her how grateful I am for the opportunity and I look forward to working with her soon. When I left, my heart was beating out of my chest, I was so elated!
Lucille’s comments about the meeting: Jadée is a very clear communicator, and more importantly, she is a good listener. My first experience with her was while she was working on a print job and she did not fully understand her contract. When we spoke on the phone, she paid very good attention to detail and, took all of the advice that I gave her. She moved ahead in the right way. She is bright and articulate and, I think that being a good business woman is just as important as being a good artist.’
Jadée’s experience with a major agent confirms the need to develop effective communication and listening skills. Especially with industry leaders.
WILL THOMAS’ SUCCESS STORY? It didn’t happen overnight. Will has been working towards success for a long time
In 2009, 3 different agencies tagged Will at the workshop. He ended up signing with Terry Lindholm, head of GTA Agency. The vid below shows a younger Will taking in the advice offered by educators and industry players.
‘Since day one, I knew Will was going to be a star. I’m so happy we found Answers4dancers and Grover’s workshop where he got to be showcased and recruited by 3 different dance agencies.’ - DIANA URIBE, personal manager.
‘I remember back to meeting Will at the A4D workshop. GTA is so proud to represent him.’ - TERRY LINDHOLM, GTA Agency.